You might have recently lost your mom or dad. And you might find it almost impossible to deal with the fact. It might feel like your world has turned upside down. Maybe you do not know how to accept the death of your parent and process your grief. Maybe you are still in denial. Or maybe you are looking for ways to go through this tragic phase in life. You have probably lost the most important person in your life. And if you lost your parent suddenly, then the shock is even hard to process. If dealing with a parent’s death is hard, then read on to discover simple, yet effective tips to help you recover.
Take your time to grieve
Losing a parent is highly different than losing a wallet or a job. Your parent was probably your source of strength and support. You might have spent the best and the worst moments of your life with your now-deceased parent. So, you cannot expect the grief to go away like a puff of air.
You might also feel pressurized to move on as soon as possible from your parent’s death so that you can resume to normalcy in life. But it will take time. Don’t rush into feeling normal, even months after your parent’s demise. It is going to be difficult to return to your normal life for long after your parent has passed away.
You might miss your parent even while indulging in day-to-day tasks. For instance, shopping might prove to be a chore if your mother had always accompanied you for it. Or a game of baseball might not be enjoyable anymore because your father is not there by your side. It is okay to lose interest in daily chores for a while. Take your time to grieve your parent’s death. Things will return to how they once were, but it will take time. Accept this and be okay with it.
Understand that life goes on
This is an understanding that you will arrive at once you have processed your grief completely. It is not uncommon to feel guilty after you have lost your parent. You might blame yourself for enjoying even the smallest things in life because your parent isn’t there to enjoy it with you. You might also think to yourself for a while that it is wrong to be happy because your parent was not given a chance to experience this happy moment. But, after a while, you must understand that the show must go on.
Initially, guilt and frustration, shame and regret will encompass you when you will try to return to normalcy and happiness. You might feel as if you are intentionally leaving out your deceased parent from joy and gratitude. Or you might also feel crippled – mentally and emotionally – to carry out certain tasks without your parent being around you. But soon, you will realize that life must go on – with or without your parent. Dealing with a parent’s death and continuing to live normally is hard. But keep your deceased parent in your mind and heart in everything you do – and soon – it will be bearable. Also, remember, your parent would want you to be happy even in their absence. Honor them by trying to seek happiness in life.
Don’t make decisions in haste
Dealing with a parent’s death means suffering through an existential angst at all times. You might feel incomplete after losing your parent. In most cases, people suffer from an existential crisis after losing their parent. They might feel that their marriage, career, or family has become a hollow source of survival – without an ounce of meaning. Some people also feel the urge to leave everything behind and start afresh in life. While it isn’t wrong to begin a new chapter of your life on a fresh page, think twice before jumping to any humongous conclusions.
The thing is, dealing with a parent’s death might cloud your judgment. You might not be able to distinguish the right from the wrong. This might result in drastic actions which you will regret later in life. For instance, if your parent’s demise has somehow made you question the foundation of your marriage, give this thought a couple of weeks or months, before you sign the divorce papers or distance yourself from your spouse.
Before you resign from your job due to the ongoing existential crisis, stop and think – would your parent really want this for you? Losing a parent is one of the most tragic things that can happen to anyone. However, don’t lose your ability to think clearly over this. If you feel that your judgment is being clouded by intense emotions, sleep on it for a few days.
Talk to your loved ones
There is no better way of dealing with a parent’s death than venting out your feelings to a loved one. Nothing could have prepared you for the loss that suddenly struck your life. Hence, processing these negative, melancholic or intense emotions becomes nigh impossible sometimes. Or maybe, you are so overwhelmed that you become paralyzed emotionally for a while. In such situations, communicating with your loved ones can provide immense relief.
It is not necessary to form coherent thoughts or sentences to talk to your loved ones about the death of your parent. Simply say whatever comes to your mind. It can be revisiting a fond memory that you shared with your parent, or an emotion that you wished to convey to your parent before their death (but couldn’t), or how you regret not spending their final moments with them. Don’t filter your words, thoughts, or emotions. Let it all out.
See a therapist
Sometimes, talking to your loved one isn’t enough while dealing with a parent’s death. The tragedy is so mammoth that it requires clinical intervention for many. If you feel that you are stuck in a vicious cycle of depression and grief, or you are unable to perform even the daily tasks effectively after your parent’s demise, it is time to seek a therapist.
Your therapist can help you come to terms with any emotion related to your parent’s death. Your therapist can also help you navigate those feelings and overcome them successfully, so that you can resume your day-to-day life as soon as possible. Apart from therapy, you can also look for support groups online or in your area, talk to people who have been in similar situations and find comfort.
Moreover, you can also make certain tweaks to your daily routine for a fresh change. Pick up a new hobby to keep yourself busy or distracted for a while, so that you do not ruminate over your deceased parent. Take up yoga or meditation to calm your anxiety or treat your depression naturally. And finally, be patient with yourself. You have just lost your pillar of strength and courage – it is not easy to brush it off and move on. Allow yourself to feel all the emotions and let them go gradually.